Please enjoy this transcript of this episode with L3 Founder, Doug Smith. It was transcribed and therefore might contain a few typos.
Doug Smith: 00:00 I believe the greatest gift you can give someone is your own personal development. The greatest gift you can give your spouse is to grow and develop as a husband or a wife. The greatest gift you can give your children is if you grow and develop as a father, or a mother. The greatest gift you can give your team is if you grow and develop as a leader, and Ohio said it best. He said, “Everyone wins when a leader gets better.”
Doug Smith: 00:19 This is the L3 Leadership podcast, episode number 164.
Doug Smith: 00:25 What’s up everyone? Welcome to another edition of the L3 Leadership podcast. My name is Doug Smith and I’m the founder of L3 Leadership.
Doug Smith: 00:33 We are a leadership development company devoted to helping you become the best leader that you can be. In this episode, you’re going to get to your part, one of my two-part series on developing yourself in the leaders around you, but before we dive into that, just a few announcements. I want to let you guys know about a new leadership conference called the Future Forward Conference held by my friends at Amplify Church here in Pittsburgh. It’s a conference for church leaders and their staff. It’s going to be October 24th through the 26th and it’s led by Amplify’s senior pastor Lee Kreicher who I’ve interviewed for this podcast and I’ve had him speak at one of our events and he is a phenomenal leader. I cannot encourage you enough to get your, your leadership team here and your church leaders here. I’m telling you it will be life-changing for them and it could change the entire future of your organization.
Doug Smith: 01:18 I just believe so much and what Lee and his team is doing, so please check them out at Future Forward Conference and again, I can’t encourage you enough to attend. I also want to thank our sponsor Alex Tulandin. Alex is a full-time realtor with Keller Williams Realty whose team is committed to providing clients with highly effective premier real estate experiences throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region. As a member and supporter of L3 Leadership. Alex would love the opportunity to connect with you and you can learn ways to connect with him and find out more at pittsburghpropertyshowcase.com with that being said, let’s jump right into my talk on developing yourself in the leaders around you and I’ll be back at the end with a few announcements.
Doug Smith: 01:55 I’d like to talk to you on the subject of developing yourself and the leaders around you. This is going to be a two-part series and I hope to give you some very practical steps that you can take to start developing yourself and the leaders around you. So let’s dive right into the content. I want to start off with a few questions. Number one, do you have a personal plan for growth? If I were to sit down with you, could you tell me what you do intentionally to grow and develop as a leader? How about this? Do you have a training system for your leaders to grow and develop? Then you could actually show someone and if you do, is that training system capable of developing the leaders you see and then you need in your vision. Sam, Atyumi he said this, he said, the transformation that happens in people’s lives that you lead is a test of your leadership.
Doug Smith: 02:39 The transformation that happens in people’s lives that you lead is a test of your leadership. And I want to give you a vision of becoming two things. Number one, becoming a leader that is known for someone who develops other leaders. What if you were the person that people would say, if you really want to grow to your maximum potential, if you really want stretch then you need to sit under your leadership or this man’s leadership or this woman’s leadership, and more than that, what of your organization became an organization that, that that you just knew people knew in the community, knew. If you wanted to grow and develop as a leader, then you need to work here cause you’ll grow more than you’ve ever grown. What if you had an organization like that? I’m here to tell you that if you’ll do things right, if you’ll develop yourself and learn how to develop others, you can become that leader and you can grow that kind of organization.
Doug Smith: 03:28 But more than anything, I just want to embed in you today a passion about developing yourself. I believe the greatest gift you can give someone is your own personal development. The greatest gift you can give your spouse is to grow and develop as a husband or a wife. The greatest gift you can give your children is if you grow and develop as a father, or a mother. The greatest gift you can give your team is if you grow and develop as a leader. Bill Ohio said it best, he said, “Everyone wins when a leader gets better.” And, and I would say this, that people will rarely rise above your leadership. So if you’re not growing as a leader, your best potential leaders are going to leave and the ones you want to stay with or want to go or stay, the ones you want to stay will go.
Doug Smith: 04:08 And the ones you want to go will stay. You’d need to grow and develop. So how do you do that? Let’s unpack this practically. Number one, I would just say always be leading something. Now that sounds obvious, but when is the last time you took inventory over everything that you lead? Maybe you’ve been leading, you know, five to 10 things, but you’ve been leading them for so long that it’s second nature to you and you haven’t actually had to sharpen your leadership skills in a very long time. Maybe some of you need to look over your and take inventory of your leadership or roles and started thinking, which of these can I hand off to the next generation to help them grow and develop as leaders? And that’ll free me up to actually take on new leadership roles that will help me grow, stretch and develop.
Doug Smith: 04:53 Have you become stale? Have you hit a lid in your leadership because you’ve just been leading by second nature almost instead of actually having to lead and learn like you did when you first started? How about this? When’s the last time you took a leadership role in your community outside of your organization? Maybe in a nonprofit or in your church. When’s the last time you took on the leadership role where your title didn’t give you any leverage? I just want to encourage you to think about that. Look over your leadership responsibilities, figuring out which ones you can hand off dream about, what opportunities you can join that will help you grow and develop as a leader. Maybe it’s time to take some inventory but always be leading something and always be leading something that helps you grow and develop and stretch. Number two, you need to join a mastermind group.
Doug Smith: 05:42 I absolutely believe that everyone needs to be in a mastermind group. You might say, Doug, well I don’t know what a mastermind group is. Well, just very simply, there was a man named Napoleon Hill and this is where I first started of it and Andrew Carnegie actually hired him and he hired him and paid him to study in the top 50 most successful influential people at that time for 25 years. That’s a long time to study successful people and Napoleon Hill studied those people for 25 years and he wrote a book afterward based on his findings called Think and Grow Rich. It’s a phenomenal book, but one of the things that he noticed about all the successful people was that they were all in mastermind groups and all the mastermind group is a group of two or more people that get together on a consistent basis to intentionally grow and develop as leaders and as people and they hold each other accountable and they challenge each other to be all that they can be.
Doug Smith: 06:33 And that’s why masterminds are a part of L3 Leadership. You know what? If you had a group like this, this is what our l three leadership mastermind groups do. We meet biweekly, meet twice a month. Everyone in the group shares their top 10 goals for the year on a consistent basis. Every meeting, everyone shares their wins, what they’re actually the progress they’re making and they say they also share their soul check, which is just how you doing on a scale of one to 10 and why, every mastermind group, two people who are on the hot seat when you’re on the hot seat is a chairs to troubleshoot your road the things that you’re coming up against, the roadblocks in your life. Maybe you’re trying to start a business and you have no idea how to start a business and so that could be a hot issue.
Doug Smith: 07:14 You could say your mastermind group guys, I don’t know the first thing about accounting or legal work or what needs to happen. I just have an idea for a business. I need help and then you allow the rest of the group to give you feedback. They overcome those roadblocks and all of a sudden your groups are saying, Hey, I know an accountant that can help you. I know a CPA, I know an attorney and all of a sudden you’ve made more progress in 10 minutes of connecting with your mastermind group then you have in the past year just dreaming of an idea. It’s a great place to get feedback. You also, everyone at the end of every meeting shares one step that they’re going to take towards their next, next goal in the next two weeks before the next meeting. And everyone in the group holds each other accountable.
Doug Smith: 07:55 For me, I’m writing a book right now and I have, I probably have 30 people in mastermind groups who are constantly texting me saying, how’s that book coming along? Are you writing? Are you writing? I’m so grateful for the consistent accountability that it provides. We do social events throughout the year. We have a gratitude dinner. We go through leadership curriculum together and so much more. And listen, if you’re listening to this and then this sounds appealing to you, you can either join a current l L3 Leadership mastermind group or we can actually train you, equip you to launch your own. So if you’d like to do that, just go to our website and a and L3leadership.org you’ll see a mastermind tab and you can learn everything that you need, whether you want to join our star one right there. But I believe if you want to grow and develop as a leader, you must be in a mastermind group.
Doug Smith: 08:40 The third thing that I tell you if you want to grow and develop is that you have to have a system for getting personal feedback and then you actually have to adapt to that feedback. I was listening to an interview with Sheryl Sandberg recently. She is the COO of Facebook and she said if a leader truly wants to get better, then how do they actually do that? She said, the answer’s real feedback. Get people to tell you the truth. And this is why I think it’s so important to be in a mastermind group or to get coaches are getting consultants in your life because you need an outside perspective and people who will be honest with you. And do you need people to be honest with you at work? And so how do you do that? Just ask your team, what is the last time you actually gave your team an opportunity to give you feedback?
Doug Smith: 09:22 Here are some questions and you could ask your team, is there anything that I do that limits you or our team? What can I be doing better as a leader? What should I start doing? What should I stop doing? Unless they don’t allow your team, not to give you feedback. But here’s what I want to caution you. Don’t give them a reason not to give you real feedback cause here’s what I know. If you stop them from giving you real feedback, you’ll never get it again. If you shut them down, if you become defensive, if you show that you’re not teachable, they’ll never give you real feedback again. And so I just want to encourage you to cultivate a system and an environment at work where everyone can be real and give each other feedback and don’t allow people not to give you feedback. Cheryl actually shared her story where her direct reports, where she said it seemed like they were afraid to give me real feedback.
Doug Smith: 10:11 And I said, you’re not allowed to not give me feedback. Come back with something next week that’s substantial or else we’re going to have another conversation. Create a system for getting personal feedback and adapt to it. Number four, this is more about developing the leaders around you, but do you have a system for getting feedback on your organization? Do you have a system for getting feedback on your organization? Sheryl Sandberg, in that same interview, she said, most organizations fail for reasons that everyone knows about, but nobody actually talks about. Be direct. I love that. Most organizations fail for reason, that reasons that everyone knows about, but nobody actually talks about be direct. Do you have a system for getting feedback? There’s a church locally that I love what they do and they have a leadership program for young, emerging leaders and one thing that they do to get feedback throughout the year is that, well, this is just a neat idea just in general, but they have a shark tank pitching contest within their church where the church actually puts up funds.
Doug Smith: 11:12 There’s a winning amount of funds in the budget and all these young leaders break into groups and each group is responsible for pitching a new, or it’s either a new idea for a new ministry or an idea to make a current ministry in the church better. And then they all present their ideas and then the church actually funds one of their ideas and all kinds of wonderful things have come through that. But what if you had that, did that, I just think that’s awesome. What I also had love about the program is at the end of the year, they have the young leaders in the church gave a presentation and the presentation is three things that we wish the senior leadership of this organization new three things we wished the senior leadership knew. Here’s the caveat. At the end, afterwards, the senior leaders, they get to give a presentation called three things we wish the younger leaders knew. And I just love that. And can it create some awkward conversations? Yeah. But at least everything’s on the table. At least everyone knows what the reality is. We need to consistently get that feedback. So start asking your people, asking your teams, guys, what do we do well as a church? What are in order of business? What should we start doing? What should we stop doing? Have a system for getting feedback on your organization.
Doug Smith: 12:26 The next principle, call out the leadership in others. I love this because I’m gonna encourager naturally, Call out the leadership and others. I want you to think about this. Who is responsible for calling up the leadership in you? You know, I, I think about me, I remember I was a senior in high school. I got in trouble for who knows what and I remember me and my buddy were down the assistant principal’s office and he just looked at us, shook his head, and he said, guys, I want you to know something that you guys are leaders and people follow you and you can use that influence for good or for bad. And I just encourage you to use it for good right now. You’re not, or take that responsibility seriously. And we walked away from that conversation and we lacked. But do you know that that was the first person in my life whoever told me I was a leader, that I had leadership potential or that I could do something with my life.
Doug Smith: 13:12 And I’ll never forget that. And this is so cool. I was speaking, I had the opportunity to speak in a baccalaureate for my high school 10 years later, which is crazy because I was a drug dealer at school and all kinds of crazy stuff. But I got to speak in my baccalaureate and it happened to be the assistant principals. Uh, last day he was actually retiring the next day and I got to honor him in front of all these students and all these parents. And I just looked at him in front of everyone while I was speaking and I said, Mr Sieminski, you are the first. You are the first person who ever spoke something into me that I didn’t know was in me. And you drew out leadership in me. And I just want to thank you and I just want to encourage you, the other people I can think of in my life, my father in law, I did that for me, Larry Bettencourt, my wife did that from me who is responsible for calling up the leadership and you be grateful.
Doug Smith: 14:04 Soon at a young, he said this, he said, one of the greatest gifts you could give someone is a new belief about themselves. That’s what Mr Sieminski did for me that day. My principal, he gave me a belief that I was actually a leader and that I could use my life for good and I can actually do something and I’ve had so many leaders sent to me that I’m so grateful. I want you to think about this too. When a company becomes a client of the leadership, don’t let your team guess what you’re thinking about them. Tell them if you see leadership in them, if you see gifting in them, call that out. Say, Hey, I love this about you. Hey, you have this gift. You’re so good at this. I just want you to know, man, that is so special because if you like your team guests, I can promise you they’re probably not going to aggress that you’re thinking great things about them.
Doug Smith: 14:44 They’re going to be worried that you’re not approving of them cause you’re not saying anything of them. Always speak into their lives. Brian Stevenson said leadership requires that people, the people we serve, feel and know that we are with them. Do your people feel that you’re with you? Do they know that? Are you calling out leadership of them? What we see ourselves becoming is often what we become and we can’t become what we don’t see. We need to be identifying leaders as early as possible and help them develop called leadership and others. Number six, spend time developing your team. Spend time developing your team. This is how I do this and this is my system. Hopefully, it’ll help you. I’d love to hear your system as well, but we have team meetings every week and then I have one on ones with my direct reports every other week.
Doug Smith: 15:37 The agenda is simple. We celebrate wins. Hey, what progress is being made? What do we need to celebrate? We share prayer requests and share how each other’s doing. And then we ask one question, and this is been a game-changer since we started asking this. The question is simple, what are your priorities this week and how can I help? How can we help? How can the team out? We’ve started asking that, and i’s been phenomenal. People have said, you know what? This is really stressful. We got so much going on. If I just had a little bit of help and then another team member says, hey I have a little bit of a lighter week, I can help with that. It’s been a game-changer and everyone knows what everyone’s priorities are. It’s wonderful. What are your priorities this week and how can I help? How about this? Give your team great resources.
Doug Smith: 16:18 The principal that I learned a long time ago is always bring something to the table. Always bring something to the table. What does that mean? Always bring a resource, your team, a podcast. Say you guys should listen to this. Here’s a great book for you to read. Hi, to mentor my life. That he would take three of us guys out every single month and he would bring us a new book every month. I’ll never forget that. He always brought something to the table. My life was changed when a mentor handed me a John, the actual CD, and I thought it was so interesting. Another mentor, he said, Dad, you know, I know John Maxwell has made a huge impact on your life, but what about the guy that gave you the John Maxwell CD? What if that never happened? What if passed away or he never handed me that CD? Who knows where I’d be? Give your team great resources. Hey, how about this? Care about your team’s personal goals and help their dreams come true.
Doug Smith: 17:07 Hey how about this? Care about their personal goals and help their dreams come true. Andy Stanley said this, I love it, he said, nothing is gained if you don’t know what your young leaders are dreaming about. And the story that he shared as along this that I thought was so funny was he started asking his team, his young leaders, what they were dreaming about, and one young leader looked at Andy Stanley, who’s a pastor in Georgia, and he said, I want your job in five years. I want your job. I want to be the senior pastor of this church. And it kind of threw Andy off guard, but, but what did you learn from that? Then there’s nothing gained, i you don’t know what your young leaders are dreaming about in that situation, and you could do one of two things. You could say, you know what? You might be the perfect successor.
Doug Smith: 17:42 Let’s set you up on a plan to take over the church. Or another reality could have been, okay, you’re probably never going to do that. But thank you for sharing that with me. And if your dream is to be a senior pastor somewhere, I’ll do everything I can to help you grow and develop and help you find a place somewhere else where you can have that position. Maybe you should set a team meeting. I’m sorry, meeting with your team for everyone to come and share their top 10 goals for the year. That’s what I do. Hey, what are you dreaming about and got, I prevented that. And as the do with things outside of work, learn what people are dreaming about and help them help their dreams come true. Give them feedback about their dreams, give them resources. And then lastly, what if you connected outside of work with your team?
Doug Smith: 18:26 One thing that I’ve encouraged you to do that we practice at L3 Leadership is a gratitude dinner. Every year we have a wonderful dinner together and after dinner we’ll spend two or three hours and everyone just goes around the table, everyone’s there with their spouses or significant others and we just go one person at a time and we’ll just say, we’re starting with me and be like, okay guys, we’re going to start with Doug. And everyone does at the dinner table goes around and says encouraging things about me and they’ll say, Doug, this, this and this. And it’s one of the most encouraging nights of my life. And everyone goes away, filled up and fired up about their lives and so encouraged. What if you had a gratitude dinner to thank the people on your team? Just a thought. And then the last principle for today is exposure leaders.
Doug Smith: 19:09 The great leaders expose your leaders, the great leaders. I’m so grateful that I had a mentor in my life. Exposing me to young leaders are great leaders. At a young age, my youth pastor Larry Betancourt would bring in leaders from the church in the business world. They would share their leadership content and you would say guys to us as insurance, he would say, I want you to ask every single person I have, speak out to coffee and I want you to be intentional with their channel. When you’d ask them questions, ask them to mentor to you. And at that fired me up. And so I started doing that. I started taking a leader out every single month. And do you know that? Fast forward to after 10 years of doing that, all my peers started saying, wow, I wish I could spend time with all those leaders. And that’s when I started this podcast.
Doug Smith: 19:52 I started recording my time with leaders and it all started because I had a leader and a mentor in my life that exposed me to great leaders. What leaders can you bring before your people to help them grow and develop? What leaders can you bring in to have them grow and develop? It’s so important to expose them to great leaders. And I’ll just and sell this. I did write an ebook personally called Making the Most of Mentoring and it’s my step by step process for how I get meetings with leaders, how I actually cultivate those meetings and listen if your team needs help in that area. It’s literally my step by step process and I just want to encourage you, I’ll include a link in the show notes or you can just look up Doug Smith and Making the Most of Mentoring. It’s 15 bucks, but I’m telling you, it’ll get you meetings with people you never thought you could get meetings with and open up doors and Arrow teacher people to intentionally, use their time with mentors, in a way that will help them grow to their maximum potential. And so the last principle for day is expose your leaders to great leaders. I hope it’s on these principles added value to your life. Again, I’ll be back again next month and we’ll go for part two of this series. But grow yourself and grow others. There’s nothing more important. Talk to you next month.
Doug Smith: 21:08 Hey guys, thank you so much for listening to my talk on developing yourself and the leaders around you. You can find everything that you need in the show notes@L3leadership.org/episode164.
Doug Smith: 21:16 I wanted to let you know that we recently introduced the l three leadership membership. That’s right. You can now become a member of al three leadership. You might be saying, well, Doug, why do I need to become a member? Because I believe every leader needs a group of leaders to go through life with that will encourage them, hold them accountable to their goals and help them reach their potential and l through leadership, we’ve developed that community of leaders that will help you do just that. As a member, you’ll get access to our community of leaders. You’ll have the ability to join or start a mastermind group, which I believe is absolutely critical to your success and you’ll get access to resources, extra content, and a forum on our member-only website memberships only $25 a month and you can sign up and learn email@example.com/membership I also want to thank our sponsor, Henne Jewelers.
Doug Smith: 22:02 They’re a jeweler owned by my friend and mentor, John Henne, my wife Laura and I got her an engagement and wedding rings through Henne Jewelers and we just loved them as a company. Not only do they have great jewelry, but they also invest in people. John actually gave Laura and I have book to help us prepare for our marriage and he’s been investing in me as a leader, a father and a husband now for years, so if you’re in need of a good quality jeweler check out Hennejewelers.com again, if you enjoyed this podcast, it would mean the world to me. If you would subscribe and leave a rating and review, it really helps us grow our audience. Please share on social media as well. Thank you so much for being a listener and lastly, if you want to stay in touch with us and everything we’re doing, you can simply sign up for our email list at our website at L3leadership.org as always, I like to end with a quote and I will quote Bob Goff this time. He said this, he said, “Figure out who you want to be having informed what you do and do lots of that.” That makes a lot of sense to me. Thanks for being a listener and being a part of L3 Leadership. Laura and I appreciate you so much and we’ll talk to you next episode.